This section will contain a rough “what’s going on when” across a few of the main geographies, but detailed histories will be in the individual pages. For the most part, this area has been home to hominid civilizations for a really long time – meaning almost 5000 years from the first emergence of cultivation of crops and groupings of hide structures to the current day, which has a technology level comparable to ~1300 CE Earth. Steel is good. Architecture, stone work and masonry are good. There are castles and towers that are a few hundred years old, and some dungeons that are a thousand years old from prior, now gone, civilizations. Art and culture is legit. There is no gunpowder, however. The older races (elves and dwarves) have had a civilization that is about a 1000 years more mature than the human ones. Elves and dwarves ARE longer-lived than Humans, but not the 1000-year thing. Elves that don’t die of disease or violence may live for up to 500 years, but that’s a really old Elf. The goal is to make things a little more mundane and help the timelines be more sensible. The center of Elven civilization is Argiliath, and that is the longest continuously populated place in the known world.
Barakus and the Barakite Rule
The first peoples known to inhabit the area are long gone. Only the ruins of their cities, temples, and barrow sites remain. The rise of the elven empire pushed them into decline and they disappeared from the lands long before the Havis peoples arrived. Many of the “dungeons” of this land are in fact old Barakite sites that are either haunted or inhabited by monsters. The Barakites were tall and noble looking people, with fair skin, light hair and eyes.
How can you not have very long-lived races (like Elves) and not have them have dominance at some point? Obviously, they’ve had much longer to develop society and technology. The first wave of elven conquest started from Argiliath, but eventually spanned all across the Bay of Ahros. The dwarves developed their own empire in the Spine of Ahros, and deep under it. There was a dwarven city in the heart of Far Borea at one time, but it is in ruins, after being sacked by goblins.
Eventually, the elven empire fell into complacency and, after suffering losses in battles over the course of 2 Goblin Wars, the peculiar long-life-slow-birthrate aspects of the dwarves and the elves drove them to retreat from territory as humans and goblinkin began to migrate into the area and build their own kingdoms. When the elves retreated from the Great Forest, a few clans of wood elves chose to stay behind, and defend the Forest from human incursion. Elves are now concentrated in the current boundaries of Argiliath, and the dwarves in Galdurang. They are reclusive and suspicious of visitors of all stripes. The elven empire fell over 1000 years ago, but it is still strong in their cultural memory.
The Goblin Times
After the elves retreated, most of the land was overrun by various goblinkin tribes vying for control of the overall region. While some refer to this time as the Goblin Empire, that suggests a lot more organization that there was. There was general control of territory, but it was not centrally controlled.
The Havis were the first wave of post-Elven humans to arrive in the Isles. They arrived in the south (south of Silith, but finding it inhabited already by an alien race, they moved around) and moved north around the straits. They settled the Havis areas, built their keeps, and beat-back the last vestiges of the earlier Goblin warlords. They came as barbarians, and conquered the land, and then settled it, and developed culture from the influence of the Elves, since Havis was close to Argiliath, and the Elves used the Havis as a buffer against the goblinkin that continued to harry the straits. The remains of the Havis folk are based around their old capital city, and are slowly intermarrying with the Valrorim to the south.
The Havisfolk are typically shorter, stockier, with darker hair and features. Some have oddly bright green eyes, however.
The Ahros came to the region from the south east, landing first to found Dirim. They swept up the island, claiming land as they went, founding small baronies. The majority of them settled on the peninsula that bears their name today, settling Castorhage as their seat.
The Ahros are typically tall, slim, and darker haired, with hawk-like features and brown eyes, sometimes so light as to seem yellow.
The Bonegate Blight
There was a period in history called the Bonegate Blight, that spanned nearly 300 years, from 750 ybp to 450 ybp. A fell power, some think a portal to the Shadowfell, broke the rules of the planes, because in a short span of time, Fiends began to pour forth from a rift in the ground, seemingly led by a powerful Warlock named Uruvan Piletor. Uruvan built a tower of black stone above the rift, and seemed to have many fiends at his command. His fiendish army swarmed across the Ahros peninsula. The dwarves of Galdurang barred their gates. While the fiends could not breach it, they still found other ways in and caused much harm and discord in Galdurang. As the fiends moved south, the peoples of the southern end of the island banded together, ultimately forming the kingdom of Ahros. But at this time, was little more than a few barons and their determined men-at-arms. But they rallied, and met the forces of Uruvan at Rull. They were crushed. The survivors fell back, and were pursued for days. This first defeat signaled the beginning of a blighted, dark time as Uruvan’s control covered most the the Ahros island, and crept to other corners as well. Eventually, a large alliance of humans, elves, and dwarves got behind the armies, and a few heroes penetrating Bonegate itself to defeat Uruvan. The alliance then sacked the tower and, with mighty magics, closed the rift to Shadowfell. What followed was the golden age of Ahros.
As noted in the section of Civilized Regions, the Valrorim were barbarians that rose out of the Killat Hills, overthrew their Ahros masters, and formed their own kingdom. It is not clear what ethnic stock the Valrorim are, but it’s believed that they are distantly related to the original Barakites. The Valrorim are tall, broad, and frequently have red hair and blue eyes.